POLAR BEAR IN ADVENTDALEN: Predator seen Sunday morning near Hiorthhamn wandering toward mountains east of Longyearbyen, but officials tracking it throughout the evening

A polar bear first spotted at about 10 a.m. Sunday by a cabin owner across the bay from Longyearbyen is wandering eastward away from town into Adventdalen, but officials plan to track it throughout the evening and are urging people to take precautions if they are in the area, according to an alert issued by The Governor of Svalbard at about 3 p.m.

A helicopter tracked the bear until early Sunday afternoon, with officials now monitoring the bear by vehicles on land. No encounters or property damage involving the bear have been reported.
The cabin area and valley have been visited numerous times by bears at times throughout the year, with the governor forced to shoot one bear and remove others via helicopter, with one dying from adverse effects of being tranquilized. Such visits have in part occurred because bears are increasingly seeking alternative food sources to their traditional hunting of seals since climate change has vastly reduced the sea ice in the area.